Inflammatory bowel disease characteristics in Hispanic children in Texas

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has a wide spectrum and variability among different ethnic groups. We aimed to evaluate disease characteristics in the pediatric Hispanic population, which has not been well studied.


We identified patients <18 years old seen at Texas Children's Hospital (TCH) and diagnosed with IBD between 2004 and 2009. We compared them with their White, African American, and “other” counterparts with regard to their demographics, disease characteristics, and initial therapy.


There were a total of 399 patients with IBD: 211 (52.9%) White, 67 (16.8%) African American, 53 (13.3%) Hispanic, and 68 (17%) “other.” Crohn's disease (CD) was the most common IBD type among all groups; however, Hispanics had the highest proportion of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and IBD-unclassified (IBD-U). There was male predominance in all groups except African Americans. Hispanics had the highest percentage of Medicaid coverage (P < 0.01) and none of the Hispanics had a first-degree relative with IBD. They had a younger age at diagnosis but a similar duration of symptoms prior to diagnosis. Hispanics had less failure to thrive and a higher body mass index (BMI) Z-score. Hispanics with CD more often received systemic steroids while those with UC and IBD-U were more often treated with local steroids (P < 0.01), oral 5-aminosalicylate (P < 0.01), and less often received immunomodulators or biologics (P = 0.05).


We demonstrate differences in disease characteristics between Hispanics and other ethnicities with IBD. Further epidemiologic studies are needed, including longer-term follow-up, to better define the burden of illness in Hispanics. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2012;)

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